YouTube Gets Sophisticated with Cosmic Panda

YouTube is testing a new site design called Cosmic Panda. I love the name. I love the logo, but I’m not completely sold on the design.

The overall concept is a more sophisticated look for YouTube. It’s cleaner, bolder and darker. The videos now show up on a dark gray background like Hulu, but smaller videos show up with a double background of black on dark gray which is annoying. Yes, I guess the contrast is easier on the eyes, but it doesn’t work for me.

On the other hand, the new channel design is excellent, which means a nice boost for marketers who run their own video brand pages. There are four layout options but they’re all based on the idea of horizontal strips below the main video instead of down the side.

Google+ Puts Businesses on Hold

Google+ took another step backwards this week when they asked businesses to hold off creating accounts in their new social network. They say it’s for your own good, because the current system is designed strictly for personal profiles.

Google+ blogger Christian Oestlien had this to say:

We’ve seen some really great companies get involved. But frankly we know our product as it stands is not optimally suited to their needs. In fact, it was kind of an awkward moment for us when we asked Ford for his (or was it her?) gender!

How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both. We have a great team of engineers actively building an amazing Google+ experience for businesses, and we will have something to show the world later this year.

Women Want Solutions, Men Only Want the Very Best

He’s won trophies for his game face alone. He is the life of parties he’s never attended. Sharks have a week dedicated to him. He’s the most interesting man in the world and he’s right on point.

According to a new chart from comScore, men respond to commercials that makes superiority claims while women prefer to see solutions to their problems. It’s a sad, sexist state of affairs but we’ve seen the evidence on our TV screens for years. Female oriented commercials taught us how to remove ring around the collar, get a full serving of vegetables into our kids without a veggie on the plate, and look years younger and pounds thinner.

Commercials aimed at men promise faster cars, prettier women, adventure, and excitement. As unbalanced as it is, it’s hard to find fault when it’s a system that obviously works.

Young Canadians Spend a Month Per Year on Social Networks

Today we’re crossing the border into the lovely country of Canada. Newad conducted a survey of 2943 Canadians age 18-to-34 with the goal of finding out about social, web and mobile usage. Here’s what they found out.

“Nearly one month a year spent on social networks… But not on Foursquare.”

88% of the survey group had a Facebook account which was 19% higher than the general Canadian population. They spend most of their time Like-ing, commenting and sharing photos, videos and other content. 56% follow at least one brand, with Nike, Coke and Apple listed as some of their favorites.


(light blue is Young & Affluent, darker line is 18-49)

Chick-fil-A Turns a Made-Up Holiday into a Marketing Bonanza

Tomorrow is Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, which means you can score a free lunch if you show up at any location dressed as a bovine beast. You might think that only the most dedicated fan would go that far for a free sandwich, but last year they served more than 450,000 “cow-clad customers,” and they expect to top that this year.

Granted, not everyone went whole hog. Some people came with cow-spotted t-shirts or paper ears, but even a partial costume is enough to earn you a free entree.

Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president of marketing says,

Mobile App Users Are Willing to Pay to Play

Apparently girls aren’t the only ones who just want to have fun. According to a new report by Nielsen, games are not only the most popular category of apps, but 93% of downloaders are willing to pay for the privilege.

As you can see, entertainment of all kinds came in on top, with news at the low end of this scale. Still, 76% represents a nice chunk of change so things are looking pretty sweet for paid app owners.

Nielsen also found that iPhone users spent almost double the amount of time playing games as any other smartphone user. A full 14.7 hours a month for iPhone users, while the rest of the pack averages 7.8. Those are hours spent concentrating on a single screen and though people do multitask while playing mobile games, it’s usually only to listen to music or communicate on Facebook.

Facebook and Skype: How Awesome?

Facebook has taken another giant step toward making sure you never have to leave the website. It’s a new chat system that is backed by Skype and it’s “awesome.”

Actually, “awesome” is Mark Zuckerberg’s word for it, I’d go with “interesting.”

Zuckerberg and CEO of Skype, Tony Bates took the stage today to make the announcement via live stream and to a room full of fast-typing reporters. The update has three parts; chat sidebar, group chat and video chat.

Have something you need to talk over with your friends, start with the new chat sidebar. Here you’ll find a running list of those you message the most.